Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 3 years 5 months
Ninety-one-year-old Wilson Decker grows impatient with too many questions. That makes writing a story about him challenging. Decker would rather allow his life do the talking. Ask him about being retired as district sales manager at Minnesota Rubber Co. since 1986 and he retorts, "Retired. Yeah, right." Retirement is a relative term. Decker is a doer. Already in the 10th decade of life, he has lots of memories but prefers living in the now. "I don't spend a lot time reflecting on the past," says Decker, a New Jersey native and River Falls resident since 1996. "I can't die yet.
Peggy Steffl came before the Clifton Town Board at this week's regular meeting and accused her neighbors of shooting their guns all the time, creating a racket that shattered the pleasant way of living in the country. "I've told them it's disturbing," Steffl said. "I never would have moved here if I would have known this was going to happen. Steffl has lived at her home for 12 years.
It was crunch time for River Falls Police. On the morning of Friday, Aug. 19, a report came in that a baby bunny was stolen overnight from its outside hutch at the Josh and Anna Hudek residence in the 1300 block of Orange Street. The stakes couldn't be higher: The apple-sized Holland lop bunny, going by the name Black &White because of its coloring, belonged to a girl who'd just turned six. The bunny, an early birthday present for Alexa, was bought by her parents in mid-July from a petting zoo at River Falls Days. Now Black & White was missing.
A few weeks earlier the school board seemed gung-ho to set a revamped referendum following on the heels of one that failed in a close vote last spring. Last week, however, board members struggled for 3 1/2 hours with wording and various options before settling on three new referendum questions. Together the three will cost about the same as the last one that came in at just under $39 million. A Madison law firm is crafting the legal language for the new referendum questions. The school board should vote on the finished questions at its next regular meeting Monday evening, Sept. 19.
River Falls police arrested a 26-year-old Roberts man at 3:40 a.m. Sunday at the downtown Holiday store. A clerk there said the man was rude, and opening up and eating packages of beef jerky. Given a chance to pay for this beef jerky consumption, the man allegedly swore at the clerk while paying.
It was bound to happen. Last year's ACTs -- college exam entrance scores -- for the River Falls High School class of 2010 reached astronomical highs. This year came a gravitational rebound. ACTs for the class of 2011 were much lower, especially by River Falls standards and compared to other school districts. "After last year's scores, anything would be tough to beat," said high school Principal Elaine Baumann.
The city's residential parking law again goes into effect for neighborhoods to the north of the university from Sept. 1 to May 31, 2012. Streets affected include portions of Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth, Seventh, Locust, Spring, Lake, Walnut, Elm, Pine, Maple and Crescent. The even-numbered addresses on affected street areas will require permits for daytime parking Monday through Friday.
After a 3-½ hour special meeting Wednesday night, Aug. 24, the school board basically itemized last spring's failed referendum into three separate questions for voters to pick from. While a new referendum date wasn't set, the assumption is that it will be a stand-alone vote Tuesday, Nov. 8. Specific language is being crafted by a Madison law firm. The school board will vote on those specifics at its regular meeting Monday evening, Sept.
River Falls police were summoned to a home in the 100 block of Fremont Street last Thursday night, Aug. 18, because of a concern that a mother with children was smoking pot. After smelling a marijuana odor, officers got the 33-year-old woman to lead them to her kitchen. There, they allegedly found a grocery sack with some pot pipes and marijuana residue.
River Falls High School Principal Elaine Baumann concedes that, "After last year's scores, anything would be tough to be beat." Turns out last year's record-high local ACT score of 23.9 was unbeatable. This year's graduating class tallied an overall ACT score of 22.7 and was down in each tested core subject: Reading, English, Math and Science. Still, Baumann put the new ACT results in perspective: "Looking at the five-year average, last year was big increase, a tough act to follow. This year is more typical." The new River Falls ACTs were the lowest in several years.